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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  February 17, 2013 8:30am-9:30am PST

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morning. nice to have you. >> thanks for having me, bob. i'm really looking forward to it. >> schieffer: the sequester these draconian across-the-board spending cuts that are supposed to go into effect march 1. it appears to me that this is anything to happen. it looks to as if both the president and the congressional leaders have given up on each other. can this possibly happen? >> well, we've not give know up on this, bob and the reason we've not given up on this is because it's going to have a real impact, on middle-class families-- >> schieffer: it's going to have an impact on everybody. >> across the board. the lens through which the president is going to see the fight is what is the impact on middle class family and the kind of investments we expect for the economy to grow from the middle out. so our hope is that this does not happen, that we choose-- rather than make this an ideological fight as it appears to be right now among some on the republican caucus, we just do a balanced approach to fix
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this problem. >> schieffer: i agree with all that b but when you have the speaker of the house saying i can't work with the president any more. every time i work with him i get bermuda. when he says he won't take on the liberals in his own party on reforming the social programs, and then you see the president he's not talking to anybody. he's out making speeches around the country. >> oh, i think that the president is-- he laid out in very complete detail-- >> schieffer: but what is he doing? what are the two sides doing to keep this from happening? >> you saw what he did on tuesday night during the state of the union when he laid out in detail on what he is prepared to do as it relates to fixing this problem. over the last several months we got agreement on $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years. we're ready to do another $1.5 trillion that every economist says we need to do to stablize the debt problem. >> schieffer: would you say
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morning the profit united states will not let this happen? >> the president of the united states is doing everything he can to not let this happen. we need to work with our friends on the hill. when you look at the senate democratic plan and the president's plan, both very balanced plans that gets some savings in this deficit fight from spending cuts and some savings from increased revenues. what our friends in the house have told us is that they will not even consider anything that includes h1n1 creased revenuees not even closing loopholes will for corporate jets, closing loopholes will for oil and gas companies. that seems to me to be a position that they should reexamine and come to the table and have a real discussion about it. >> schieffer: "u.s.a. today" said the white house has been circulating its own immigration plan that provides some path to citizensship for people already here. speaker boehner said his great fear was the president would get in the way that he thought
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there were already bipartisan efforts under way on the hill. has the white house, in fact, circulated the own plan behind the keeps or where is all that? >> the president's great fear is we don't take this opportunity to meet immigration reform exrepsively in four ways. continue with the great progress we have made on border security. continue to crack down on businesses that game system and hire illegal workers. three, have a path to earned citizenship for people that they earn their citizenship if they pay back taxes pass background check, and learn english. and lastly reform the legal immigration system tow people have a reasonable opportunity to get to this country. all of us are descend apts of immigration. and we want to make sure-- >> schieffer: so is this a new plan the president is circulated? >> i think the report said-- i would have to check-- but i think it said it has been circulating inside the administration. and i think the president laid out in las vegas last week we
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will be prepared with our own plans if the talks between republicans and democrats will on the health break down. there are no efforts they have broken down. we continue to support that. we are involved in those efforts by providing technical assistance and providing them ideas and i hope republicans and democrats up there don't get involved? in kind of typical washington back-and-forth sideshow here and rather rolled up their sleeves and get to work on writing a comprehensive immigration bill-- glief you think something will happen on this? >> i think something needs to happen. i think our system is broken. i think our opportunity to tap into qualified immigrants in this economy over the course of time is a great opportunity for us. and i think we just have to fix the border security situation making the progress we have over the last four years permanent. >> schieffer: the white house finally acknowledgedly last week that the president did not make a call to the libyan government on that night when four americans died in benghazi. republicans wanted to know why. i want to ask you you were the
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deputy national security adviser. it's my understanding, we learned last week, that want president got a briefing early on the afternoon and seemed to have no more participation in anything. we know he didn't talk to the secretary of defense or didn't talk to the c.i.a. chief after that. what was the president dag that night? >> boy i just-- i don't remember it that way bob. and in fact letter we sent to capitol hill earlier this week said that secretary of state clinton called the libyan-- >> schieffer: we know that. >>eeo behalf of the president and we carried out a very robust reaction to the situation on behalf of the-- >> schieffer: were you aware of what was happening? >> throughout the night. not only were we briefing him we were convene the united states government, the deputy's committee and the national security council and i will we worked it throughout the night. the secretary of defense the chairman of the joint chiefs worked this throughout the night. here's the important thing bob. we did everything we could that
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night-- which by the way was borne out by the review board. they said the washington-based effort was a good effort that did everything it it possible could have. but the question from the president now is mao-- what have we condition to make sure this does not happen again? and he demanded of us his team, be that at the state department, be that at the white house or the pentagon ear the intelligence community to make sure this never happens again and he won't put up with it. >> schieffer: one of the relationships congress is holding uplet nominations of both john brennan of the c.i.a., and chuck hagel at the defense department, they tell us there were 70 e-mails that went back and forth if during that week on what susan rice should say on this broadcast and the other talk shows the following sunday, and somewhere along the way the idea that this was the act of terrorists, was taken out. why don't you, number one give the senators those e-mails and
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let them find up on the what they say they want to find out about this? and who in fact did take the connection to al qaeda and the terrorists will out of those talking points? >> well, i think there's-- there is an ongoing effort between the administration and the intelligence community to resolve exactly what they need to get. in addition to everything else we've already done, bob 20 hearings or briefings with members of congress, 10,000 pages of documents that we provided. and so we'll resolve whatever it is on this question-- >> schieffer: you'll give them the e-mails? >> we'll resolve it. i don't know how it will get resolved. in fact i think we're wol our way to reville it. here's what i don't want to do. don't want to have our mom nearby john brennan 30-year veteran of national security matters in this town, a person of unbelievable character and commitment and patriotic feeling for this country hung up in the midst of the situation we have
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right now-- threats from north korea, threats in afghanistan threats in pack stark threats in north africa. let's get the president's director of central intelligence over into the seat so he can work these matters. let's not let this become another-- >> schieffer: all right. >> political football in a town that at the moment seems very focusold political football and a little less focused on national security and middle class-- >> schieffer: i have to ask you quickly. you're talking about the director of the c.i.a. is it also as critical for your nominee to head the pentagon? >> no question about it. no question about it. and what we just sent up the letter-- we sent in response questions on benghazi, as we said latest interaction and 10,000 pages of documents that we've provided to the congress on this matter. the president's focus is, okay, let's account for what happened. let's reform and make sure it never happens again. let's get our guys in the position so they can help us make sure it never happens-- >> schieffer: and you said you'd let them see these e-mails. >> there's an ongoing effort. i'm not going to nearby that here with you bob.
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there's an ongoing effort, and i think we're making very good progress on that. >> schieffer: mr. chief of staff, thank you so much. i hope you'll come back. >> i'll be happy to come back any time. >> schieffer: all right, we want to go outside washington new to talk about what dennis mcdonough talked about. haley barbour is a former republican party chairman, former governor of mississippi. he is in jackson this morning and cory booker, of course, is the mayor of newark, and he is in our new york studio. governor barbour president me just start with you and i want to go back to the top. he says he hopes the sequester the draconian cuts don't go into effect. but from where i sit it looks to me like this is all going to happen because congress and the white house just can't figure out hue not to let it happen. what's your take? >> first of all, it was the president's idea when the sequester was proposalsed to be put into law a couple of years ago and there are plenty of
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reasons for to not want it to go into effect, particularly the defense spending. what the democrats want is another excuse to raise taxes. their answer soevery question is raise taxes. they apparently think what's wrong with the company and president obama mrs. pelosi, steny hoyer and top harkin, all prominent democrats have all said "we don't have a spending problem in this country." they think what's wrong with our country is we tax too little. well most americans watching today, bob don't think we have a trillion-dollar deficit for four consecutive years because we taxes too little. they know it's because we spend too much. >> schieffer: but isn't what you're saying, governor, what people say is wrong with washington. here we go again. governor barbour says it's all the fault of the democrats will and the president says it's all the fault of the republicans and i want to know where there is some ground rathe 22 sides could get together and get something done. is there such a place? >> you're going to see on the
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sequester-- i believe you're correct the sequester will go into effect. >> schieffer: you do think? >> i do, and there are a lot of republicans that don't like parts of it, but they understand we've come to a point where we've got to take action about spending. and the democrats say the real answer is to have 50% more tax increases. the answer to every question for the democrats is let's raise somebody's taxes. >> schieffer: well, we've got a democrat with us this morning the mayor of newark. mayor booker, what do you-- do you see this thing happening and what do you think the consequences will be if it does happen? >> i pray it doesn't. the consequences are real and i see them on the ground. this sequester goes to a place that will hurt small business in my community and giving them access to capital. it's going to hurt kids. it's going to knock so many kids off things like head start and for me in the daily fight against crime it's going to hurt law enforcement. it's going to hurt the f.b.i. and others. this is a threat to the nation
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that every independent economist says would hurt the united states of america would hurt our economy would hurt real people on the field. and there's no excuse for it. there's a level of brinks manship being played in congress. h.i.v. seen it over the debt ceiling. i've seen it over the fiscal cliff that is just unnecessary. there needs to be a lel of pragmatism back to our politics. i give a lot of credit to the president. he's not just saying let's raise taxes. he said the obvious we in america cannot continue to spend more than we take in. it's something i don't have the luxury of as mayor doing. what i see the president doing is putting tremendous cuts on the table trillions of dollars of cuts. you just heard the chief of staff say they're willing to put $4 trillion in cuts but it has to be in a balanced way. the challenge i see right now if this happens the sequester happens, the cuts will be blunt brutal and mind as opposed to being intelligent and insightful. and it will not invest. it will stop us from investing in those critical areas in
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america we must invest on if we want long-term economic growth. >> schieffer: mr. mayor let me ask you one thing, frank lautenber, the long-term senator from new jersey said he will not seek reelection. you said you were thinking about it. i think you put together some sort of a pac. are you going to seek the democratic nomination for the senate seat in new jersey? >> clearly it's a job i'm interested in. we did what we had to do by law and file the federal account. i'll spend the coming months working on and exploring that, but right now we have one election in new jersey, which is our st. wide gubernatorial legislative celtics. as a democrat in new jersey, that's where my focus is. next year's election for senate will take care of itself. and again i hope to be one of those people that the residents of new jersey will consider giving that honor and fighting for them on the federal level. >> schieffer: you're not in any way shape or form think about running for governor as a democrat, are you? >> no, no, i'm thinking about supporting-- look, nurming is going to have a big election. we in new jersey take one
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election at a time. 2014 is a long way off. let's focus on supporting the democratic nominee for governor and, frankly, a lot of legislative races are up for grabs right now in new jersey. >> schieffer: let me go back to governor barbour. quickly, governor, if you had one piece of advice for beth sides right now on how to avoid the sequester what would it be? would it be to put it off? i understand speaker boehner is talking about maybe passing some sort of resolution to keep the government funding at current levels until august, which is just another way to kick it down the road. is that the best both sides can do right now? >> i don't believe speaker boehner is thinking about doing that. we have a continued resolution that comes up at the end of march, march 27-28. bob, remember, while the president talks like he's real concernedded about the deficit spending we haven't had a budget in three years in the united states. now, how serious you can be
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about our fiscal issues when there hasn't even been a budget passed in three years. and i think boehner and the republicans and i think democrats who are concerned about this need to realize we didn't take any action on the debt ceiling because we didn't want to hurt the credit of the country, but sequester and then the continuing resolutions at the end of march these are the two times when the american people need to understand is there anybody in washington serious about getting control of spending? remember when the president proposed the sequester nearly two years ago, it was all about spending restraint. it didn't have a thing to do with raising taxes. >> schieffer: all right well, governor mr. mayor thanks to both of you. we'll be back in just a minute to talk about the departing pope and who the new within is going to be. ( applause ) and from national. because
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the archbishop of washington cardinal donald wuerl is with us this morning. eminence, thank you so much. i know this is a work day for you. we appreciate you finding the time to talk about it with us. what happens? the pope, first time in, what, 600 years that a pope has resigned. what's going to happen here? >> well, as we-- as we know, the next step will be the conclave. now, we even have a little bit of hesitancy on when exactly that will start because the regulations all called for and anticipated a conclave with the death of the pope. so what we have here is the retirement of the pope. so we have to probably move up the conclave since there won't be that period of mourning. >> schieffer: so this will be mid-march? >> i suspect maybe even a little bit earlier in march because we have to start gathering on the first of march. >> schieffer: what happens when all of you get together over there? is this-- i mean, and i mean-- i
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do not mean this to be in any way disrespectful toward religion-- but is it like a political convention? do you have people getting together feeling each other out? because one of you is going to be elected to this job. what's it like inside one of those conclaves? >> well, before the conclave actually start, there are a number of days when all the cardinals come together so that we can actually talk among ourselves, begin to get a better sense of one another. there are going to be 117 of us there with the right to vote. and just to get to know a little bit better personally one another, there will be four or five days of these meetings. but it-- >> schieffer: will you in any way-- could you be the nominee? >> no, that-- that enters into the world of fantasy. but when we get back into the real world i think what will happen is a number of cardinals will begin to surface in the
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conversation among all of us as particularly appealing candidates. it's not like a political process, though. there aren't nominations, and you don't have people saying, "i vote for..." and "my favorite son is..." when we go into the conclave, all of that stops. it's silence inside the conclave and the real focus is on the power of the holy spirit. i'm looking to this as sort of a very very super retreat. you just start to pray the only indication we get of how things are going is when they count the votes. >> schieffer: do you think there's any chance an american could be pope? timothy dolan the archbishop of new york is a name that comes up a lot. but in the past, the church has sort of shied away from popes who came from super powers.
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>> i think it would be-- i think you're absolutely right bob. i think it would be very difficult for the pope to come from the united states, not because we don't have qualified people-- and i have a great affection for cardinal dolan-- but because we are the one great super power. however, there is another roman saying "never put limits on divine provenance." >> schieffer: what do you see as the major problems confronting whoever becomes the next pope? we've had these scandals in the church and all of that. >> i think the real challenge that the church faces today and that the next pope will have to lead us in addressing is the overwhelming influence of secularism that's really drowning out the voice of religion, the voice of faith. each one of us is called to a
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relationship with god in whatever tradition we belong. we're all called to that relationship. and we have to keep focusing on that. i think it will be the task of the pope to say there's a spiritual mission and that is the work of the the church. >> schieffer: we'll be back in a moment with some person thoughts. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] how can power consumption in china, impact wool exports from new zealand, textile
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the bone. it ends head start reduces the number of food inspectors, ensures longer lines at airports because of massive furloughes of federal workers not to mention layoffs at shipyardes shipyardes and on and on and on. all of which would probably cause a recession. the idea was that no sane person would allow such cuts to happen, which was theorized would force congress and the white house to take responsible steps to slow down deficit spending. well guess what? even washington managed to underestimate its own ineptitude. the sequester and the draconian cuts are about to happen because want white house and congress cannot close the partisan divide and figure out what to do about them. well, there is at least some good news. if aliens do attack, our leaders will be well rested to meet that challenge after congress left town on friday for yet another vacation. the president flew to florida
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>> schieffer: joining us to talk about some of the challenges facing the country on the foreign policy front, some of the best foreign policy reporters in the business. david ignatius is with the "washington post," of course. tom ricks used to work for the "poat" is now contributing editor to "foreign policy" magazine and margaret brennan is our cbs news state department correspondent. before we get to foreign subjects here on earth, i want to talk about matters from outer space, and that meteorite that fell over siberia and injured
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over 1,000 people. so we're going back to new york to talk with the science editor and senior editor of "time" magazine jeffrey chewinger. jeffrey, let me start with the obvious. this thing caught our attention. there's no question about that. should we be worried about this? do these things pose a danger to those of us here on earth? >> well, they do and they don't. there's some comfort to be takenarchs we report in "time" magazine this week, that the earth has been playing in traffic for about 4 billion years now especially the time calmed the heavy bombardment period when the solar system hadn't quite acreeded yet. even today, every couple of months we get something as big as a volkswagen. we don't necessarily see them coming or see them as a little streak across the sky but we're
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getting bombarded all the time is it. >> schieffer: should we be worried about that? if what i understand about science is correct, it was when one of these things hit the earth that wiped out all the dinosaurs? >> that's right and that was a six-mile-wide object. the good news is there aren't any objects that big left anymore. the bad snooze, there's a whole lot of rubble out there. the rock that just passed by earth in the southern hemisphere on centers and missed by 17,000 miles, which is just a rounding error in the standards of space distances, had it hit it would have unleashed a blast of about 2.4 megatons, or 180 her hir seem as. that's a nasty bit of business. russia got clobbered one other time when a rock about 330 feet across exploded, unleashed a 30-megaton blast.
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so these things do happen. >> schieffer: what is the likelihood of something like that happening gaining? we have a pretty good idea of what's out there but not 100% idea of what's out there. >> that's absolutely true. the likelihood of one of the rocks that just passed by we have one of them about every 40 years and it hits the ground every 1200 years. even though that's a love human lifetimes, it's something we want to avoid. we know in the 100 to 150-foot range there are a million such objects out there. nasa is doing a very good job cataloging all the ones they can, but so far they've been able to find just about 10,000 of them. so we're a little ways away from having the complete inventory. >> schieffer: well, let me just ask you this question-- is there something the government ought to be doing or science ought to be doing that it's not doing? >> actually, believe it or not we are handling this one well. in 1995, nasa authorized-- or
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rather, congress authorized nasa to scan the skies 24 hours a at day, seven days a week, to look for these objects and we're doing it at three observatories in california, new mexico, and puerto rico. and those three observatories have accounted for about 98% of the bodies we know are out there. now, there are ways to defend ourselves once we know it's out there. and we have the technology to do it. it's just a question of putting the money together and deciding to do that. >> schieffer: all right well, that is a little bit reassuring, and thank you very much for helping us on something that most of us know absolutely nothing about. thank you so much. i want to turn now to our panel. tom rickes, it strikes me that one of the dangers is that in this age of intercontinental ballistic missiles, a nation might pick up something like this on their radar and before they identify it as a rock, would fire our own missiles back
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in retaliation that you might accidentally trigger a nuclear exchange. >> it was always a concern in the cold war that the russians would think we came up with some new weapon we didn't know about and hit with a surprise attack and they would respond. this is why communication back and forth is so essential hot lines and so on to say "hey, that wasn't us. that was something in outer space." my worry here is that we have now wasted billions of dollars on missile defense. now they can say we need asteroid defense. let's spend billions more on that. >> schieffer: david what's your take on this? >> well, i don't know about asteroid defense. i think it is true that technology has advanced to the point that radars can distinguish pretty much where an object is originating. you know, when i think about foreign policy, i don't think about the intergalactic version but the-- >> schieffer: maybe we should. >> but the meteors that are coming right at this administration now and there's a meteor called syria heading
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fast. there's a meteor called iran, and a real confrontation with iran over its nuclear policy. the administration has got to deal with it this year. and then there's the perennial issue of the israeli-palestinnian problem and the president made an interesting decision to go to israel and then to the west bank and jordan next month. it will be his first trip to israel as president. so in these three areas in particular the foreign policy challenges of 2013 are obvious. we can talk about what the administration is going to do. as i said, these are coming at us. can't really stop them. >> schieffer: let's talk about that margaret. you're over at the state department. you have a new secretary there. is it different? ( laughs ). >> well, we were given red sox caps. that's different certainly with secretary kerry there. but, no, i would say what david just highlighted in terms of confrontations to come, he is certainly right in highlighting those. i don't know that we'll get to confrontation, other than the
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slow walk of diplomacy. that seems to be the focus particularly on the issue of syria. senator kerry had some ideas about what to do. can secretary kerry actually implement them? he has said on this trip he's expected to make within the next few weeks that he will go to the region, that he will try to push as he says, things that will change the calculus of al-assad right now. but as a senior arab diplomat told me just this week here in washington, they think that the syrian military replains remains very well armed and loyal to al-assad. it seems like the focus is going to be trying to keep syria together and trying to get a diplomatic deal done. >> schieffer: well, we learned last week during these various hearings on capitol hill, that the president overruled all his foreign advisory on helping syria and giving more aid to syria. tom, how do you see this thing break down?
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>> i feel like obama is being like president eisenhower. this is a gay who is guy who it determined to avoid getting into the ground in the middle east in the suez crisis. shunned helping the hungarian revolution despite a lot of calls in this country to do that. probably, most importantly rejected the advise in the northeast. i see obama very much that pattern. he has a whole string of foreign policy crises, but i think given this eisenhower pattern you're not going to see him intervene in syria. you're going to see him get us out of afghanistan and try to avoid foreign crises as much as possible or minimize them, and only use ground forces as a very, very last resort. >> schieffer: let's talk about afghanistan, david because the president made it pretty clear. ly said he said our war in afghanistan is over. but that seems to me a little
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bit different than saying the war in afghanistan is over. and in fact, i have had people say to me they sort of cringe when the president said that. they said-- tom friedman, the foreign affairs columnist in the "new york times," said that was the one thing that made me krimpleg when he said that because he said you just ought not ever say that because it's just suggesting it gives al qaeda ideas. >> this is a president who in every recent speech has stressedly i am ending thes that are america has. and by implication i don't want to start new ones. tom is right to say he's approaching the question of syria and any kind of a serious american intervention there very very skeptically. that said, tom, i think there are new proposals before the administration for a more robust u.s. position, and i think he may sign off on them. on the question of afghanistan bob, what i was struck by in his state of the union speech was something a little different. he said that the united states is committed after the withdrawal of our combat troops
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at the end of 2014 to two missions, and the two missions are counter-terrorism and training the afghan army. those two missions almost by definition require a significant american presence. is it 5,000? is it 6,000? is it 8,000? that's what there's a lot of discussion about. but the fact that the president named the two missions, a lot of analysts say it's going to mean more, rather than less u.s. troops staying on. in that sense even though the president was talking about ending the war in afghanistan the submission continuing, and as margaret follows there's a lot of diplomacy going on in secret now to see if you can bring the taliban into real peace negotiations so that we would leave with something like a settlement. we could say "here look, we're leaving but there's an agreement among these factions." >> schieffer: and you just had the president of afghanistan karzai saying he's going to forbid any more american
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airstrikes. he won't allow his own people to call in airstrikes because a recent one took some civilian lives. >> reporter: concern about hitting civilian areas. that's right. i think one of the other offshoots of this drop-down will be a continued presence in some form is where those asset goes. and the theory keeps getting floated what leaves afghanistan may go to the benefit of forces in within africa because of this new threat that has come to the fore and really been highlighted in terms of aqim, their presence in libya and algeria as we saw with the hostage crisis that just happened. but what that means is it's certainly not boots on the ground. it's just assets -- >> schieffer: the president didn't have much to say about iran or north korea during his state of the union. >> there is-- we've said there's diplomacy behind closed doors on both fronts. next week you have iran coming back to the negotiating tables.
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there will be talks with the world powers in kazakhstan about getting iran to be more revealing about his nuclear program but i don't expect iran to get what they are looking for, lifting sanctions and the president last week put new sanctions on iran-- >> schieffer: are these sanctions working? >> well, there's a statement a day ago from the supreme leader in which he said "don't keep this gun to our head. don't try to force us to talk." it was like you know when a boxer gets punched and said he didn't get hurt and he'll tell you he didn't get hurt even when you see he got hurt. i think that's the case with the iran "it didn't touch us. but as the white house reads the ayatollah's words, they are a kind of political fencing. but what he's saying is, "i know talks with the u.s. are coming, and here's the position i want to lay down."
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>> schieffer: it does seem to make life harder in iran for the iranian people these sanctions. but, tom has it slowed down their nuclear program? they seem to be good-- going straight ahead. >> i think what slowed down the program was this computer virus injected into them. i think it's interesting that the iranian people seem to remain pro-american, perhaps the most pro-american people in the middle east despite all this. >> schieffer: let me just ask because i want to get in about chuck hagel. is chuck hagel going to be confirmed as secretary of state? and also john brennan is still hanging out there. >> if he is, i think he will be very weakened secretary of defense. he has not given a good performance so far. my concern is the obama administration has gone from people like bob gates and jim jones, to basically pals of the president, cronies from senate, people who have never really run anything. i'm not so much worried about the policies as i am by the people.
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>> i guess that tom is right he will be confirmed. this has been become an extremely partisan debate, unusual for secretary of defense. he will be significantly weakened especially in what he's going to need to do. you have a real battle shaping up now for who-- how the pie is divided in terms of military spending, and congress will play a big role, and his ability to work with congress, sadly after this confirmation process is reduced. >> schieffer: margaret, are we ever going to get the answer to what the president knew that night that those four americans lost their lives in benghazi? i mean, you heard dennis mcdonough say this morning yes, he was hengauged throughout the evening but there is no record of him having talked to anyone. >> no records no photos released and no statements. it's not clear in the debate you hear within with the administration is well, what is it that we could deliver that would stop these questions? and do you engage and provide the second half, because then it really becomes an argument? you could also say hey we're
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almost six months out now. this is still going. you've got to provide more clarity there. but secretary clinton did place that call to the libyan president last night. whether that counts on behalf of the president-- >> schieffer: the next day he place the the call. >> secretary clinton. >> schieffer: secretary clinton called. the president didn't call him until the next day. >> right. >> schieffer: we could talk about this forever and ever but we're going to change the cast here and we're going to be back in just a minute.
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>> schieffer: we're back with our politics panel. michael gerson used to work for george bush, used to write a lot of speeches for him and has written a few state of the union speeches himself. now a columnist for the "washington post." amy walter national editor of the "cook political report." and we're joined by our old friend and political director john dickerson. let me just go around the table
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here. is this sequester going to happen? i think it is. >> well, both sides are responsible for it, and both sides seem resigned to it. and some of the reason is, it's not like the shutdown in '96. it's a 5% cut for domestic programs, it's going to have a serious consequence for a lot of people. it's not like shutting down the government. and there are some expectation that maybe this issue could be rolled into the continuing resolution debate in march and you might get some resolution. but all that said, this is an absud way to do budgeting. across-the-board cuts, they do waste, but they also do meat inspectors. it really is a heartless mindless brainless way to do budgeting, but it's the path of least resistance. >> schieffer: if they start laying off people at the airports, you're going to have airline lines like we have never seen before. and i don't know very many people who think things are really going great at the airport these days. >> yeah, i mean, i think he's exactly right mike cell exactly right. there is a redsination it is going to happen and now the only
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question is who is is going to get the blame? that's where both sides are positioning now. you heard on this show governor haley barbour saying "it was the president's idea." you also hear from democrats saying "it's going to be terrible, terrible things are going to happen, p.s.a. lines meat inspectiones, the world is going to collapse, dogs and cats are going to live together." republicans say, "it's not going to be that bad. most people aren't even going to notice it." it's not just that the expectation of what should happen are different. it's the expectation of what is going to happen. >> schieffer: well you know, john we heard these reports seeping up on the of capitol hill this week najohn boehner the republican leader, is already talking about let's just pass the continuing resolution to keep the government funded in into august, which is just another way of saying this is the "kick the can down the road" again bill. >> right to michael's point-- >> schieffer: which says to me maybe that is what is going to happen because they can't figure out what to do. >> this is no ray to run a railroad.
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that would take a horrible option and replace it with a bad option. let's go back. because they couldn't get their homework done in the first place they said let's launch a meteorite at washington that will be so terrible everybody will do something, and they have done nothing. and two points that are interesting. the congressional budget office put out a report and said based on the current trends, the country is not anything to get back to its growth where it should be until 2017. that's the economy here we're in. on this question of blarnlg the president feels he's got the high hand. his approval ratings are 20, 30 points ahead of republicans. when we're at 2017, people will look back at the obama economy and if this sequester has the economic effect it's head of the c.b.o. said 750,000 jobs if this doesn't get averted a million jobs-- that will hurt the president. regardless of whether it was the republicans' fault regardless whether he didn't have a willing partner, that's the pressure on the white house. we all know the pressure on the
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republicans. that's why john boehner may want to move to something that is not as bad. >> schieffer: what about the whole question on immigration? a lot of people think something could actually happen. at least they were saying that before the president made his state of the union speech. he said it's a big high-priority item. but, you know, john boehner said to us the other day at breakfast. he said, "look my greatest fear here is the president will get in the way." he said,un "there are some good solid, bipartisan efforts going on, on the hill to do this." he said, "i just hope the president will let that work its well." now we elsewhere that want white house is leaking its own plan. is there-- what's the politics of all this? >> well, i think in the state of the union he didn't get in the way. he was very centrist and conciliatory in that speech, and i think republicans were happy they were get something cover there. this week, the question is whether it's accidentally or purposeful. some republicans i talked to this morning thought it was
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accidental but it does feed the fear pain lot of republicans think he's going to pull the rug out from under us. and this i think adds to that concern. it also highlight atz point that there's an internal democratic debate because this leak did not include a guest worker program. which is what unions object to, and which republicans insist on. so that's going to be a big issue coming up about how the white house positions itself on that type of issue. >> schieffer: what about the whole situation within the republican party amy? here you had ran paul make his own state of the union response, speaking, i guess for he would say for the tea party side. don't the republicans have a lot to work out here amongst themselves? >> immigration and a whole lot of other issues. i mean, they understand intellect plea, that demographics are catching up with them, and they have to find a way to reach out to hispanic voters. they cannot lose them by 44 points like mitt romney did. at the same time, their party base is not where the leaders
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need them to be, to be able to accept a lot of changes not just on immigration but i think what's even more interesting regardless of whether an immigration bill passes, being able it win over hispanic voters means you can reach them on other issues, and when you look it of at where the base of the republican party is, 80% say we want smaller government, fewer services. this is a "washington post"/kaiser poll. 67% of hispanics say we want bigger government, more services. so on the fundamental role of government, you have a party the republican party that's not going to be able to reach where hispanics are. that's going to be a tougher problem even than immigration. >> schieffer: john, what happens? i mean, i hate this word "sequester." i wish we could think of another word. >> meteorite is good. >> schieffer: there was a word when jimmy carter kept talking about inflation and they said you can't use that word and he said okay i'll call it a banana and they went on. let's say the sequester happens which appears is going to happen what happens after
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that? will congress then do something try to cobbling it something? >> only if the two sides can get past the fundamental debate. we saw it in the state of the union. the president said smarter government, what the republicans heard is bigger government. when the president said it's not going to add one dime to the deficit, that's a laugh line for the republicans. there's a debate how to growth economy. the republicans believe you shrink government and that creates free enterprise and grows the economy. the president says you have to invest. you can't grow the economy through cuts alone. as long as that fundamental debate still exists we'll keep having these moment of crisis and you add to, that of course the hyperpartisanship. >> schieffer: i think what they'll do is it will happen and they'll kick want can down the road by passing a continuing resolution to campaign funding the government. we'll be right back.
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>> schieffer: and that's it for us today. i hope you'll join us on sunday when we'll be checking in with some of the nation's governors including south carolina republican nikki haley and
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maryland democrat martin o'malley, right here on "face the nation." with business. and from national. g
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>> today on "75 years of ncaa march madness," they're the signature moments of the tournament. >> cinderella is alive! >> desperation plays that take our breath away. the difference between victory and defeat! cbs sports celebrates the 10 greatest buzzer beaters in the history of the ncaa tournament. >> in college basketball teams play the game for a hard-fought 40 minutes. sometimes the outcome is decided by a mere fraction of a second. >> got it at the buzzer! >> on average, today's


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